Candidates for president and vice president of Undergraduate Student Government debated who was more qualified for the position Monday at the Student Center.
Jeff Rusin, a freshman from Schaumburg studying business administration and political science, said he wants to be president so he can represent students as a competent individual and rid the student body of the feeling that the USG president is incompetent.
Brittany Greathouse, a sophomore from Bolingbrook studying accounting, the other USG president candidate, said she wants to be president so she can improve attendance among the senators.
She said it is sad most students don’t know what USG stands for and thinks the USG should reach out to Registered Student Organizations instead of RSO’s coming to the student government.
Rusin said the USG’s highest priority should be retention and building of the Saluki pride the campus once had.
Rusin said he would continue to represent students even if he is not elected president. He said he is qualified for the position even though he is a freshman, and his experience as a representative of high school students was much harder than being a representative of the adult population of SIUC.
He said even if he is not elected president, he wants more interaction with the student Board of Trustee member to further increase student representation.
Rusin said he would try to establish a public relations commission with the responsibility of educating students about USG and what it does.
Greathouse said Saluki pride needs to be increased and should be done by getting more students involved with everything the campus has to offer. She said if students participate together, they can build a stronger bond, and it will retain student numbers.
She said she thinks the president and the Board of Trustees student representative should have a very close relationship and use their combined powers to get more done. Greathouse said students should be able to talk directly to her about their problems if she is elected.
Rusin’s vice presidential candidate, Dakoda Hanson, a junior from Mt. Vernon studying political science, and Greathouse’s vice presidential candidate, Corbin Doss, a junior from Springfield studying civil engineering, also made comments and rebuttals during the debate.
Hanson said one problem is keeping students at SIUC, and one way of doing so is to improve the Greek life, because students who are involved in Greek life create bonds. He said he agrees working as a team is important in order to achieve a better USG.
The USG is responsible for a lot of work on campus, said Spencer Tribble, USG vice president and a junior from Riverdale studying agriculture business and economics.
USG has members from every college of education on campus and representatives for different areas of Carbondale, he said. USG represents everyone in their elected areas, he said, and it cares for student needs by working with the university administration.
Tribble said the USG is also responsible for allowing the formation of Registered Student Organizations and takes care of almost $400,000 of funding for the RSOs.